This isn't a film to warm the cockles of your heart, but instead, one you want to shake off but can't. The reason? The slightly mad, Gelsomina, gets a very unhappy time of it & there is no beautiful ending for her, or, rightfully, for, Zampanò, the bullish circus man that she tours with. So, La Strada, literally meaning 'The Road' is a very beautiful yet haunting journey that stays with you like a stone in the heart.
3-4. I think 'La Strada' MAYBE doesn't go far enough in delivering consequences to Zampano for his actions. On the other hand, that his sort of character would wind up punishing himself is idiosyncratic in its own right. And there is so much to love here from Fellini's sense of visual poeticism to the nuanced characterization for both Gelsomina and (surprisingly) Zampano. I really want to see more from Fellini now.
A poor family sells their daughter to a circus performer - and then nothing much else happens for the next 100 minutes. The girl gives one of the worst, weirdest performances I've ever seen. I *think* she was supposed be to mildly mentally retarded but if so she missed the mark by many miles. I assume I'm supposed to feel sorry for her but I just found her too irritating and odd to care. I give this bore a D+.
I've never been a huge fan of postwar Italian cinema but Fellini is the one I can dig the most. La Strada is still an heir to Neo-realism and it shows predominantly in its subject matter. It is a touching movie, granted, just not his best work in my opinion. Feel free to hate me for my opinion on this one.